Friendships in addiction most often revolve around alcohol or drugs and are typically rooted in selfish desires and intentions. These types of relationships don’t usually last and they can be dangerous to your physical and psychological well-being.
Now that you’re in recovery, you have the chance to start over and establish genuine friendships that are founded in trust and mutual respect. These types of relationships help you mature spiritually and emotionally, they are supportive of your recovery, and they’re also enjoyable!
Making new friends in sober living may seem daunting, but there’s no secret formula for getting it right. Despite what you may have experienced in the past, making new, healthy friendships is entirely possible in recovery, and having friends that are supportive of your sobriety can make all the difference as you establish your new life of sobriety.
Within this guide, you’ll find helpful tips on how to build healthy relationships in sobriety and suggestions for how to connect with your peers in a variety of different ways.
Benefits of Sober Friendship
Making new friends in sober living is an important topic and a real issue. When you transfer from your inpatient treatment provider to your new sober living home, making sober friends is a critical part of developing new social and accountability circles.
Sober friendship can also have many personal benefits.
You’ll practice being with other people and interacting with them.
You’ll have opportunities to develop personal boundaries that honour and ensure your sobriety.
You’ll be encouraged to grow and accept others and yourself for who you are.
You’ll have people who can help you fight off loneliness and boredom in recovery.
You may find that sober friends help normalize your new sober routine.
You’ll develop a strong network of sober support to keep you accountable.
As you establish new sober friendships, you’ll begin to understand new things about yourself and about living your life that may not be easy to get used to right away, but with a few sober friends in your corner, it won’t be as difficult as it seems.
How to Make New Friends in Sober Living
There are no clear set of directions you can follow that will tell you exactly how to make friends in recovery but developing new friendships in sober living is often a result of certain behaviors, attitudes, and continued effort.
Instead of letting fear and insecurity hold you back or assume you’re better off alone in recovery, here are some important tips that can help you navigate a new lifestyle and new friendships.
Relating to New Friends in Sober Living
Being able to relate and connect with other people is an essential part of life. However, if you’ve experienced trauma or had negative experiences with friends and loved ones in the past, relating to others may be a difficult thing. Fortunately, in drug and alcohol rehab, you learned how to connect with yourself as you gained a better understanding of who you are, what motivates you, and how you can love yourself in a healthy way. These tools can also help you form connections with others.
Relating to new friends in sober living is the next step in learning how to establish relationships. While social isolation is common in addiction, the opposite is true of recovery. People in long-term recovery thrive off of close and supportive connections with sober peers. These relationships help sustain them, fill them with joy, and teach them how to grow. Sober friendship isn’t just a nice thing to have in recovery—having sober friends is an essential part of maintaining your sobriety for the long haul.
In your sober living home, you’ll meet new sober people who may be in a similar situation as yourself. Some of them will be closer to a full year of sobriety, and some may have more soul searching to do than you before they can transition into an independent lifestyle. Sober friends can relate to you on many levels, and a sober living home is a safe place to communicate and share with your peers. Some people may find the prospect of being surrounded by strangers at a sober living home nerve-wracking but making new friends could be as easy as just saying “hello.”
Getting Active with Sober Friends
Participating in activities with other residents at your sober living home is a necessary part of establishing new friendships. You won’t be able to interact with other residents if you never see or talk to anyone. Deciding how to start a dialogue is a lot simpler when you have a prearranged topic of conversation such as an activity, a common interest, or even a support group. Learn about the group activities and amenities your sober living home has to offer so you can get involved and find new sober friends.
Here are a few tips for getting involved and active with sober friends:
Choose something that makes you feel at ease. You’ll be better able to start conversations while you’re in your comfort zone instead of feeling overwhelmed because you’re dealing with a new situation while also trying to find new friends.
Look for outdoor activities as well as things to do inside. Moving around out in nature and getting some exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good and confident about approaching new people.
Don’t be afraid to try something new once you get settled. You may find that in finding new sober friends, you also find a new passion that you never imagined could be something you’d love.
Sharing and Connecting with Sober Friends
No matter how many activities you try and how much you get involved, you won’t be able to make any lasting connections unless you share with others. The best way to get involved is to talk about your experiences and open up so that you can relate to the people around you. In the safe environment of your sober living community, you can share with people in a judgment-free zone and make new friends you can relate to every day.
Although only you can choose to share certain things about yourself with others, sharing your recovery story with your peers in sober living has many benefits. Not only does it help you find your own voice, but helps you process and heal, gives you an opportunity to practice being honest and vulnerable, and encourages accountability among your peers. Opening up about your personal struggle with addiction and recovery can also give other people hope for their own recovery as well.
The Bridge Foundation Cayman Sober Living Home: The Perfect Place to Establish Sober Friendships
If you need some support living a life of sobriety and are interested in making sober friends, The Bridge Foundation may be the perfect fit for you. Our sober living group home is designed to connect individuals who are learning to live a life of sobriety. We even host meetings so the residents of our houses can get to know each other. Contact us at 345-926-4053. We are here to help you continue to live your sober life.